“Flaming rhetoric” from MP raises biologists’ ire

In an open letter, 37 biologists wrote down their names to reiterate the importance of a provincial conservation plan that would protect 4000 square kilometers in the Bighorn backcountry between Jasper and Banff. The letter issued Wednesday reacts to comments by the Conservative MP for the region, Jason Nixon, who denounces this project.

The project to create a protected area in the Rockies meets the interests of particular groups, according to Jason Nixon, and lack of consultation. These words represent misinformation, says Lorne Fitch, a biologist who signed the letter.

It’s the use of inflamed rhetoric. It is a speech that lacks vision for this region, and it concerns us enormously.

Lorne Fitch, biologist and signatory

The biologists who signed the letter, including Don Meredith, are calling on Rachel Notley’s government to stick to its own plan.

“We had negative comments about this project, but the plan must go ahead. Consultation is at the heart of this plan, and it continues to exist, “says Don Meredith.

The latter recalls that the provincial government has launched an online survey so that Albertans can give their point of view on the project, until January 31.

The province also plans to manage these protected areas in collaboration with Aboriginal people in the area.

Don Meredith wants the letter to also draw the attention of the Conservatives, who he believes should join the plan if they take power in Alberta in the spring.

No matter who is in power, time is running out to protect this region.

Don Meredith, biologist

According to him, the Bighorn area “provides water for many grassland communities and if the presence of oil and machinery continues in the hinterland, the province will see a loss of biodiversity. Animals will have nowhere to go. ”

Jason Nixon, for his part, reiterates that this project does not represent what all Albertans want.

“There is no reason to rush in there before the election. It’s a project that worries a lot of people, “he says.

The plan should be resubmitted in the spring of 2019.

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